If you haven’t heard of this new birth control option that lasts a whole year and is NOT an intrauterine device, you are not alone.
First, I need to make one thing clear.
I do not have any partnership or sponsorship arrangement with any pharmaceutical company.
When I learned about this contraceptive option, I felt compelled to write about it because it seemed perfect for the COVID-19 era for those who are also trying to avoid pregnancy.
This article is also NOT a reflection of my opinion on trying to conceive or being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have multiple opinions about that but my summary thought is that a person needs to do whatever is best for themselves and their family while considering risks and benefits.
Back to this new birth control ring.
It is a vaginal ring that lasts an entire year. It is NOT Nuvaring. For those who are unfamiliar with Nuvaring, it is a small, plastic ring that you place in the vagina once per month. It stays inside the vagina for three weeks and is removed for one week and discarded. While inside the vagina, it slowly releases the same hormones that the combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) contains, estrogen and a progestin. Nuvaring is great for people who aren’t uncomfortable inserting and removing it on their own and who want an easier, option than the pill. You can pretty much set it and forget it for three weeks.
This new option is called Annovera. If I’m honest, I don’t love the name. But I DO really like how it works.
Annovera is a vaginal ring that you can REUSE for an entire year.
It contains estrogen and a progestin, just like the pill and just like Nuvaring. You insert it in the vagina for 21 days, then remove it, wash it with mild soap and store it in a case for 7 days. After 7 days, you reinsert the SAME ring. It lasts for an entire year, 13 cycles. This is so cool to me because it eliminates the need to go the pharmacy or receive a package in the mail. (Judging by the number of Amazon packages I receive, I have no issue with the mail, but I’m just saying.)
If you’ve followed me long enough, you know how much I love my IUD, however I know that some people take issue with the fact that it is inside the uterus, needs a whole procedure to be placed and has to be removed by a healthcare provider. Vaginal rings don’t require a healthcare provider for placement and can be removed easily. You decide if you continue it or not. It is not implanted in your body.
I know what you’re thinking. I borrowed this frequently asked question straight from the Annovera website:
CAN YOU USE ANNOVERA DURING SEX
Yes, it is designed to be worn during sex. If you prefer, you can remove it for up to 2 hours. If ANNOVERA is out of your vagina for more than 2 hours at one time or at different times that add up to more than 2 hours over the 21 days of continuous use, then you will need to use another method of birth control (such as male condoms or spermicide) until ANNOVERA has been in your vagina for 7 consecutive days.
There are precautions of course. They include any precaution against a combined estrogen-progestin pill. I also have to stress the importance of recording when you place it and remove it. I personally used Nuvaring for years. It is easy to forget since it’s so hands off.
Talk to YOUR healthcare provider if you think this new ring may be right for you. If you want to learn more about IUDs, check out this post.
Oh, and check out what I found on the YouTube…